Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers: Nicholas Castellanos eyeing the heart of the order

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DENVER, CO - AUGUST 30: Nicholas Castellanos #9 of the Detroit Tigers watches the flight of a third inning solo homerun against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on August 30, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - AUGUST 30: Nicholas Castellanos #9 of the Detroit Tigers watches the flight of a third inning solo homerun against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on August 30, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers Nicholas Castellanos sees himself in a good spot so far through spring training according to the Detroit News.

The Detroit Tigers slugger hit his second home run of spring training in a matchup against the Braves. During a Thursday press conference, Castellanos told reporters:

"“Obviously, I am not saying I’ve peaked or I can’t get better. Just in the sense that, I love playing outfield and love hitting…I’m kind of in a good spot right now.”"

Castellanos is looking to continue his September success from last season and become the primary slugger for the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers moved him to right field last September where he had a slash line of .380/.410/.696 along with five homers and 20 RBIs. All that in just 21 games of work for the 26-year-old.

Looking to the Future

The past several seasons have seen Castellanos emerge as a serious slugger. He’s has a .277/.325/.493 slash line over the past two seasons establishing himself as a solid hitter. He put up 26 homers last year and brought in 101 RBIs. Both were career highs for the right-fielder. With Justin Upton and J.D. Martinez both gone, Castellanos is expected to be in the heart of the batting order.

The move to right field last September was in-part due to his defensive struggles. If he can emerge as a legitimate power hitter he could find himself playing with the Detroit Tigers long term. The team tried to extend a deal last season but it didn’t happen. He’s also under team control for another two years. If he keeps putting up 100+ RBI seasons the Tigers would want to keep him around for some time.

Next: Prospects entering make-or-break seasons

Castellanos is slowly becoming one of the premier players on the Tigers roster. If he continues hitting the ball with power, and Miggy has a bounce back year, Tigers fans can enjoy a plentiful year of offensive power in Comerica Park.

Whether he can successfully transition to right field has yet to be seen. His 21 games last season is too small of a sample. Plus, as I stated above he’s struggled defensively in the past. However, his offensive numbers might be enough to justify the below-average to average defense.

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